Feeding Children Everywhere Meals… Keeping Warm On A Cold Boat!

One of the most critical needs for an adventure challenge such as the Everglades Challenge is maintaining proper nutrition and hydration.  There are various ways to ensure you get proper nutrition, but my choice has always been to try and keep as much of my food the same as what I eat on land.  Of course, I have to exclude pizza and indian buffets, but the rice and lentil based meal developed by Feeding Children Everywhere seemed to be an ideal base around which to form my nutritional plan.  A big concern during the Everglades Challenge is avoiding debilitating hypothermia.  Proper clothing is essential, but hot food is very important too.  As I was going to be sailing alone, and often not touching land for up to a day at a time, I needed a simple way to cook and keep hot food on board.  I chose to cook and keep my hot food in an Esbit thermal food jar, which I purchased at Go2Outfitters, using an MSR Pocket Rocket stove and a teapot for efficient boiling of water.  Later on, I’ll review the equipment used, but for now, I’m posting a pictorial guide to preparing a meal using minimal fuel and time, which will provide you with a liter of hot food that will remain hot for 18 hours, and warm for another 6 after that.  The system worked so well, in fact, that I’m developing a variety of recipes which I’m using in my daily life on land!

Another view of the galley equipment carried aboard Discovery.  Well, except for the spoon, which is currently residing in the dishwasher!

A view of the galley equipment carried aboard Discovery. Well, except for the spoon, which is currently residing in the dishwasher!

Hey... look in the pot!  It's not one of Herbert Hoover's chickens (the funny truth is that Henry IV was the one who actually made the chicken in a pot comment, not H.H.), but it IS an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, a lighter, and a waterproof container loaded with stormproof matches.

Hey… look in the pot! It’s not one of Herbert Hoover’s chickens (the funny truth is that Henry IV was the one who actually made the chicken in a pot comment, not H.H.), but it IS an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, a lighter, and a waterproof container loaded with stormproof matches.

Galley equipment, with the MSR Pocket Rocket stove assembled.  The burner and plastic case weigh about 3 ounces.

Galley equipment, with the MSR Pocket Rocket stove assembled. The burner and plastic case weigh about 3 ounces.

The MSR Pocket Rocket stove boiling water... you can't see the flames, but in 6 minutes, the pot will let you know it's ready!

The MSR Pocket Rocket stove boiling water… you can’t see the flames, but in 6 minutes, the pot will let you know it’s ready!

Here we have a 6 serving bag of Feeding Children Everywhere meals, a ziploc bag containing half of the original amount, and the 1 liter Esbit thermal food jar I used in order to have hot, nutritious food at all times during the 2013 Everglades Challenge.

Here we have a 6 serving bag of Feeding Children Everywhere meals, a ziploc bag containing half of the original amount, and the 1 liter Esbit thermal food jar I used in order to have hot, nutritious food at all times during the 2013 Everglades Challenge.  The reason for the ziploc bagged portion is that 3 servings and 800 ml of water are needed for my 1 liter thermal cooking method.

The dry Feeding Children Everywhere meal ingredients in the Esbit food jar, patiently awaiting boiling water from the teapot.

The dry Feeding Children Everywhere meal ingredients in the Esbit food jar, patiently awaiting boiling water from the teapot.

The boiling water has been added... at this point, it's hard to believe the meal will cook and absorb almost all that water with no heat source, but in 3 hours, it will.

The boiling water has been added… at this point, it’s hard to believe the meal will cook and absorb almost all that water with no heat source, but in 3 hours, it will.

After adding the dry Feeding Children Everywhere meal and 800ml of boiling water, capping it quickly to retain as much heat as possible is essential.

After adding the dry Feeding Children Everywhere meal and 800ml of boiling water, capping it quickly to retain as much heat as possible is essential.

After 3 hours in the Esbit thermal jar, the FCE meal is fully cooked, tender, and delicious!  Using 800ml of water during the cooking leaves the meal a bit moister than when cooking on the stovetop, but it fills the jar a little more, keeping everything a little hotter, and provides me with a little more hydration, and a meal that can, when sailing, be eaten from the cap without utensils if need be.

After 3 hours in the Esbit thermal jar, the FCE meal is fully cooked, tender, and delicious! Using 800ml of water during the cooking leaves the meal a bit moister than when cooking on the stovetop, but it fills the jar a little more, keeping everything a little hotter, and provides me with a little more hydration, and a meal that can, when sailing, be eaten from the cap without utensils if need be.

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One Response to Feeding Children Everywhere Meals… Keeping Warm On A Cold Boat!

  1. Pingback: Innovating While Sailing | Feeding Children Everywhere

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